Ms. CRANKY'S HAT, well, one of them

Ms. CRANKY'S HAT, well, one of them

Monday, January 26, 2015

RIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS --- a bit behind but the spirit is still there

Ms. Cranky was honored one night to be on a subway platform at Bay Parkway waiting for the “F” train, with views so spectacular of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines that she went to the end of the platform in the very dark.  She was the only one there waiting and Ms. Cranky is scared of, like, just about everything.

The new World Trade Center which Cranky usually loves to hate, was spectacular, shining, shining and the old Empire State as always lit up and, then, building after building on each side of the river was bright and right below where she stood, were the memorials rising up to the sky of one of the most beautiful cemeteries Cranky has ever seen, a very old Jewish cemetery.   Oh, and did Cranky forget to tell you of the small slit of a moon just sitting up there in the very cold?--- Cranky finds skies so spectacular in the coldest weather though her knees climbing those old old subway steps weren’t doing as well as the night sky.

Then, a few days later Cranky went into Manhattan on a brief outing, conveniently forgetting how intense the ‘Christmas crowds’ would be even after Christmas.  She had a few errands to do, and, then, hoped to grab a decent cheap lunch and walk through Bryant Park.

It was really hard getting through the crowds, very claustrophobic but all could be handled and went all-right till Cranky couldn’t find the reasonably priced Irish bar where she’d had a great sandwich once and, since Cranky does not eat breakfast, she was getting weaker and weaker and wandering up and down side streets searching and searching --- ‘it’s gotta be the next block, etc.’ getting, more and more, err, ‘cranky’ so she, finally, dove into a dark diner (unusual in itself, she should have ‘realized’) and quickly ordered a turkey burger, the cheapest thing on the menu. 

That’s when she was pushed by the waitress to order ‘deluxe’ which she didn’t want. And, in time, Cranky would find out that if you didn’t pay extra for deluxe, at least in this joint, you weren’t even allowed a pickle on your plate! 

The waitress had her so upset pushing for ‘deluxe’ --- “You won’t get lettuce and tomato and fries” she kept repeating and Ms. Cranky would more-or-less-patiently reply that she didn’t want ‘deluxe,’ this went on and on and, then, the barren turkey burger with not a teeny thimble of over wrought slaw nor a pickle, arrived, and, for some reason had a second roll on the plate, which Ms. C. found strange but was too hungry to ask about it and started to eat.  Anyway, she couldn’t do another ‘deluxe’ conversation.   Cranky does admit to munching a bit of the second roll --- who knew a turkey burger came like that --- and, why?

So, when she went to pay her bill, Cranky was all excited and in a good mood to tell the tourists who had arrived in the shop some places to go, where window displays were still on, etc., Cranky loves pushing the delights of her city as you might guess.  But, when she got to the counter to try to get a check, the stalwart deluxe-pushing waitress had over-charged her for her very plain old turkey burger and, then, added on $1.45 (!) for the extra roll Ms. Cranky had never ordered.  Is that a lot of money for a roll???

When Cranky asked the waitress about all this, the woman started screeching --- ‘you get a menu and check the charges, you cheat, you cheat’ and went on and on about Ms. Cranky ordering a second roll.  There went the tourists sitting there, Ms. Cranky hoped to chat with.  This was not the Xmas, New York City spirit Ms. Cranky loved.

Cranky, per the menu, changed the wrong charges on the bill to correct ones, crossed out the aforesaid horrid roll not asked for, multiplied everything by 9% tax as 8.75 was too hard for her rusty math brain to handle.  She left the money at the counter near the cash register with the corrected receipt and even left the screaming waitress a tip on the table, not as big as usual, but a tip.  

Then, Cranky sadly exited the diner without her usual pep talk to the eager tourists as she was too humiliated and found herself out on the street, still really hungry and not in too pleasant a mood.  This was not what she had planned but, then, whatever is?

So, stalwartly determined to ‘start again,’ Cranky walked up the side of the NY Public Library building towards the beautiful Bryant Park with it’s even more lovely tiny Christmas shops and great skating rink at this time of year, still upset from the dim no-pickle diner experience.

As Cranky was walking up a stairway holding on to the railing on the right side (the correct side to go up) a woman sent her son, actually pushed him to that particular side, ‘the wrong side’, where he hit Ms. C. but did not totally topple her.  The boy was about 10 or so but pretty large and the mother who had pushed him and seen it all, came laughing behind him as Ms. Cranky tried to pull herself out of harm’s way.  Ms. Cranky was not having a ‘great day in Manhattan’ so far.

Cranky rarely gets mad enough to speak up but this time, high on the tails of the turkey burger, extra roll, overcharge incident, she shouted back to the mother --- ‘Thanks for sending your son to push me down the stairs’ --- but the mother just kept laughing.  Cranky’s words fell on, well, not ‘deaf ears’ but huge thick purple ear-muffed ears.

But, just as Ms. Cranky might finally give in and feel a sorry for herself, just then, as she re-arranged herself at the top of the little stairway, came a family of four --- an older couple ahead, then, an teen-age boy and, next, probably, his mother.  

Ms. Cranky would have thought nothing of this group except for the fact that the younger woman, bringing up the rear, was crying and as Ms. Cranky stopped to notice, the woman began actually sobbing hard --- right there walking along, coming up from the beautiful park.  That stopped Ms. Cranky in her tracks, literally.  

No, she hadn’t found the cheap Irish bar hard as she tried, she had a barely decent sandwich in a diner and had been mis-charged, then verbally accosted for the mis-charge and certainly didn’t have ‘deluxe’ treatment, then, trying to approach the beloved park, had a large child hurled at her by his laughing mother who kept on laughing even as the boy fell into Ms. Cranky.

It hadn’t been a great outing but Ms. Cranky was not walking behind her family and crying, not even a little bit.  She quickly forgot her own minor woes and felt very sorry for this woman. 
Cranky approached the low white wall of the park which she so loved, where you could look out all across.  

She had finally arrived there and blessed herself as was her old way and stood silently praying for the poor sobbing woman, wishing she could stop whatever was hurting her, hoping the woman’s pain would go away real, real soon.

Ms. Cranky, sometime after Christmas, 2014Thanks for stopping by, love to hear any of your Christmas stories, sweet and bitter.  Please come again, writing more now.

Monday, August 25, 2014


A Ms. Cranky real, real short ---

Cranky thinks, without getting all new-agey and such, that omens are important in one’s life unless you get crazy and start seeing them in everything.  But, some omens Cranky feels are truly omens, like when she went to this health care provider --- in a fancy building, all gussied up, with fabulous doorbells and entry systems and buzzers galore but as soon as she walked in the door, she was greeted not only by a large plant right inside the door but she was greeted by a large and very dead plant.  Ms. Cranky, nervous about everything anyway and especially a new health care provider, thought –

"This does not bode well."  And later, she would wonder --- ‘why didn’t they just move the pathetic plant to the back, why would they have it greeting people at the entryway?  And, what are they trying to say???’
Omens can be silly, or a little too ominous, ha, ha, but in this instance, Ms. Cranky wished she had walked out of that particular place right then.  The plant said it all, though, in her obsessive care for growing things, she asked before leaving if she would be allowed to ‘work on the plant’ and they let her.

Water is always good for a dead plant, Cranky thinks, especially one with dead flopped-over leaves that should have been bright green but instead were brown or an even weirder burnt orange color? ,

Yeah, water works and, as a health provider, you’d think that might have occurred to the organization!?  And, then, Ms. Cranky asked to borrow a scissors and she cut off some of the dead leaves to give the tiny green part of the poor plant that was left a chance, and maybe not  horrify the next customer. 

Thanks, as always, for stopping by, Cranky would love to hear any similar stories.  Suffice it to say (to use a really trite phrase --- why not, it’s August?), Ms. Cranky did not continue her relationship with this place for long, she tried, actually, she tried valiantly but they answered their phones in the same manner they fed the plant --- like, by ignoring them.

It’s a wild and wonderful and nutty world and it helps to talk about it to one another.  Let me know your thoughts and stories.  Have a great end of summer.

And, remember to drink plenty of water and share it when you have a chance ---


Mrs. Cranky, August 22, 2014

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING (David Letterman’s new take on the phrase)

a Ms. Cranky short

Ms. Cranky likes David Letterman very much and his quirky, to her, most natural sense of humor.  Some of her friends disagree and Cranky herself really doesn’t like Dave’s Chris Christie weight jokes at all but otherwise she considers him a joy, a natural, un-contrived very original comedian. 

Take the other night; for instance, There has been a campaign in New York, hopefully everywhere, since 9/11 --- “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING” --- the phrase is used on speaker systems on public transit, it’s on signs all over the city; we, again, maybe everywhere, but certainly in the New York area have heard it repeated for 13 years now. --- ‘if you see something, say something.’ --- makes sense to Cranky.

So, the other evening on late-night national TV, Ms. Cranky’s favorite talk show host was taking on the new hearsay that there could be bed bugs --- not anymore in the hotels of New York City --- but they might now be on subways.  So, Dave went on and on about this the way he does --- straightforward, gap-toothed, Paul from the band making his wonderful noises of agreement. (Ms. Cranky will miss Paul as well, he is so part of it all.)

Then, Dave showed a video they had made announcing a new city-wide campaign and Ms. Cranky who was not in a good mood at all, just about fell on the floor laughing. 

They had this video filmed inside a subway car and the announcer said over and over --- ‘If you see something say something”; then, they showed average citizens, dressed in their golf shirts for summer, etc. riding the subway and brought up the subject of the new threat of bedbugs.

And, the motto quickly changed from ‘If you see something, say something’ to “If you see something, SWAT something” and all these people in the video were shown running around the subway car holding fly swatters and swatting intently at the walls and windows. 

Remember --- if you see something (like dangerous or strange, a package left unattended, for instance) say something
And, if you see a bedbug --- SWAT SOMETHING.

Have a good day, everyone, it helps to laugh, it really does, life is truly incongruous and Cranky will really miss this late-night talk show host and his quirky most honest work. 

Swat away David Letterman as long as you can.  Ms. Cranky is so very appreciative.  

posted August 25, 2014, show aired maybe Wed. or Thurs. eve of last week

Monday, July 28, 2014


Ms. Cranky is just back from her idyll in the Adirondack Mountains where she goes each year to a writer’s retreat.  She is in a good mood --- so far.  She knew the mountain chain as a young girl and was always happy there and still is though she travels to a different section of the area now.  

It was a wonderful week, Ms. Cranky even did homework, a lot of homework and partied less (oh, well) and came away sad to go but full of good intentions, fervor and even a promise to her friends to get back to writing this column. 

And, then there was AMTRAK out of Albany, a train Ms. Cranky loves as it travels, seems to glide, along the brilliant shining Hudson River.  She was in such a good mood from her week of writing, friends and cookies when, of all the cars on the train and all the seats in the cars, a very young woman behind her  started shouting into her cell phone and crying at the same time, really openly and loudly sobbing.  

Ms. Cranky is very used to cell phone screamers, they are the bane of her existence in an otherwise beloved NYC and all its boroughs but she is not used to cell phone screaming on AMTRAK.  Late Friday afternoons when Ms. Cranky always comes back from camp are usually full of business people trying to impress you with their ‘big important’ phone talks, she hates that too but they do not cry. And on city transportation, cell phone screaming is simply accompanied by lots of swear words.

So, this particular abuse of cell phones in public and abuse of Ms. Cranky’s ears and peace of mind, had a new and very loud wrinkle, so to speak.  Ms. Cranky knew she could move to another car but why should she?  Her luggage was above and some cute guy had helped her get it up there!!!  Whew, and she and her friend were comfortably ensconced in their seats rolling along the glorious river.  

Comfortable, that is, until Ms. Histrionics began right behind her.  Why her, why???  “Of all the gin joints, etc.”  One of Ms. Cranky’s favorite quotes from Casablanca

Her friend tried to calm Ms. C. down and told her to ‘ignore it’ but that’s hard for Ms. Cranky being way too familiar with hysteria and people who work at making things worse than they already are, which is a ‘calling’ for some --- like the convent might be for others.

Ms. Cranky is very allergic to this behavior and can actually break out.  

Hysteria gets the person nowhere and Ms. Cranky feels that she has enough of her own problems so that when people throw theirs out in the world willy nilly, it’s very upsetting.  She has her life and her home and earning a living to worry about, not to mention a cat needing very expensive medicine, the Ukraine, Libya, Iraq and the impeachment of the President --- just to mention a few things.

So, after the fourth go-round of screaming and sobbing, Ms. Cranky walked two cars south, then five cars north, to find the conductor and get ‘rational information’, something the woman probably did not want because usually in cases like this, Ms. Cranky finds that the person wants to be in this place and to ramp it up even more.

The woman did not seem to know the name of the next train station to get off so Ms. Cranky walked through the whole train to get the proper information from the very attractive (either this was a good day for men or Ms. Cranky had been in ‘the woods’ too long) and walked back through the railroad cars to give the sobbing woman the information she probably could have retrieved from her very smart phone in two seconds if she had stopped wailing into it. 

This action on Cranky’s part quieted things somewhat because now there was ‘a solution’ but not for long because usually the upset people do not really want a solution.  They want to be upset and to drag you through the mud with them, if at all possible.

But, then, ahem, the very attractive, conductor Ms. Cranky had talked to came and did all the right things for the young woman.  And they all quietly ventured onward towards New York. 

Ms. Cranky wants to thank all the cute guys on the train (yet another would offer to help her get her bags down!), the sacred Adirondack Mountains and Ms. Cranky’s amazing writing retreat --- brilliant teachers, kind, funny and gifted students, smart helpful staff, great meals and, mostly, freshly baked cookies at each and every lunch. 

And, she thanks all at the retreat who encouraged Ms. Cranky to get writing again and she thanks God for the joy of coming home, no matter the home --- it’s full of flowers, lots of flowers, only one cat but this kitty so rich in love and joy of life makes Ms. Cranky laugh out loud.  She lies beside her desk as she writes this now.  She’s a ‘buddy, a true true bud.

And, so the rituals of daily life begin again, the things that Ms. Cranky loves --- refilling the water bottles, watering the plants (lots of water images --- hmm?). Home, blissful for now, home.  Cut off the yellowed flower leaves and spent blooms, put away things from the luggage, start supper, wash to do in a pile --- begin again, oh, yes, sacred again.

Ms. Cranky, Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Thanks for stopping by, sorry was away for a while, Ms. Cranky would say she was on ‘hiatus’ except that she abhors that over-used word, one of many words she used to love until every movie star on TV mentioned they had been on ‘you know what,’ --- starts with an ‘h,’ ‘venue’ being the last word, Ms. C. turned on, sad to stop loving a word --- it’s not the poor word’s fault!

See soon, have a great week.  Ms.C.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

MS. CRANKY HAD ALWAYS LOVED THANKSGIVING (until every TV show presented recipes for over 6 weeks before the Day --- get a grip people!)

Ms. Cranky is so glad Thanksgiving is over this year because she doesn't think she could stand one more turkey and/or turkey stuffing recipe (the turkey isn’t even stuffed anymore anyway!).  Cranky expects to see a glut of recipes on the cooking shows at this time of year but not necessarily for 6 weeks straight and not on every non-cooking show as well. 
Maybe even Al Roker got in on the act.  For all Cranky knows, he put on a white apron and paraded out some old family secret.  Ms. Cranky, by the way, loves Al Roker and does not even know if he did a turkey show act.  But, Cranky still has to wonder ---What is it with all these recipes and why blast them for so long a time period??? 

Is the American public really that dim-witted?  Isn’t making a turkey like universal knowledge?  And, now Cranky fears besides, of course, Christmas recipes galore from every Tom, Dick and Hanna --- a nauseating Valentine’s Day pre-preparation.  She’d better start getting ready for that one --- all that frosting!
A turkey’s a turkey, stuffing’s stuffing --- put in sausage, add an oyster, Cranky doesn’t care --- just stop telling her about it.  Brine the damn poor bird, don’t brine it but just calm down. 

Now, Cranky is really worried in trying to prepare for the onslaught of silly Christmas songs even on her favorite rock stations; they’ve already started and she’s jumping up changing stations and not getting any work done.  It’s enough to make her turn to those weird white things dangling from your ears. 

Ouiii, but, thanks for stopping by.  It’s always good to visit.  Cranky’d love to know your thoughts on this whole over-wrought recipe hubbub.
Ms. Cranky, Monday after Thanksgiving, December 2, 2013 --- rent due




Cranky woke up quite sick on Thanksgiving Day but is proud to say, she didn’t give into feeling sorry for herself --- err, well, until the very end --- err, pretty late actually.
When Cranky woke up sick on Thanksgiving Day, she knew she had to make a decision --- first she felt too awful to be out and social, and, secondly, she didn’t want to pass on whatever she had to anyone else.  Cranky could hardly talk, strange for her.

Cranky’d been all ready and excited to eat with 14 other people at a holiday gathering she’d been lucky enough to attend for several years (she always hopes to not act too crazy and be thrown off the guest list but, sometimes, she forgets!).  Cranky loves this gathering of spirited people three times a year --- for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter and it’s but a few blocks away so you can leave and walk the dog!  Cranky doesn’t have a dog but she does walk some and has left the party at times and come back.

And, this particular Thanksgiving, 2013 was a very special one (to not be missed) as one of the dearest members of this group had departed earth last summer, and Cranky wanted to be near everyone at this time and remember him.  It would not be the same without Joe, ever, that’s for sure...

But, Thanksgiving dinner out with friends for Cranky was not to be this year; so, she delivered her contribution to the party, stayed distant from the lovely host at the door as she did so and went home.
Cranky was determined to not feel sorry for herself and she didn’t.  Things happen and she was a lucky person --- the electric bill was down a couple bucks last month, things like that.  And, she got to talk to her brother more that day, something she treasured and a good friend from Chicago called and she was there to take the call and didn’t rush off.  Life worked.  Well, sort of.

Cranky had leftover chili she had cooked earlier in the week.  She couldn’t taste anything anyway even the very hot peppers from the cute guy at the Farmer’s Market.  Still, she had food, a home, and a beautiful soft kitty.
But, when Cranky tried to read her book, her eyes hurt too much to read but, all along, she knew she had, an ‘ace in the hole’ so to speak (C. has no idea what that means!). For, though cheapskate as we all know Ms. Cranky to be, she had actually rented a movie the day before and was really excited to see it.  Usually Ms. Cranky goes to the library for videos but this time she plunked down the money. 

So, after the chili she couldn’t taste, she was going to watch a really good movie.  She was proud of herself for thinking to get it in.  Sometimes she really did take care of herself (no matter what anybody said) and this time she was glad she’d planned ahead and, because the video store was closed on Thanksgiving itself, she had it till 9 the next evening!!!  --- Whew, whew. 
Cranky plugged in the little-used VCR and was proud of herself that she finally knew where all the yellow, red and white wires went. Ms. C. had finally memorized that process rather than the old ‘trial and error’ routine.  She sat down all expectant to watch the movie.  You might remember that there is not much on TV for someone staying home on a holiday unless you are into Muppets specials or intense football.

But, the VCR player though showing brilliantly ready to go on the TV set, wouldn’t open, the little thingy you put the DVD in, just stuck.  Cranky tried this and that and this angle and that clicker and manually too but it was closed up tight with no way to insert the movie disc.  Nothing,  (Ms. Cranky will not go into the implements she eventually tried to open the damn thing with here but it involved nail files, knives and such).
And, besides being very disappointed and now feeling slightly sorry for herself, Ms. Cranky would still be too sick to return the video the next day and, so, would pay an extra and more expensive late fine!

So,  this is how Cranky tried to look at this situation because she had done so well not feeling sorry for missing Thanking with 14 fun people and tons of food and drink.
She really worked at it --- Cranky first tried the ---“Hey, I wasn’t in the Philippines during the storm” routine --- that was a good one, then, “And, I wasn’t in the Rockaways during Hurricane Sandy” (she uses that a lot) and her familiar “I don’t have some horrible disease (that I know of)” routine. 

Ms. C.’s ‘current’ VCR had lasted, at least, for 8 movies, maybe 9, making that an all-time record for the breed.  Cranky got to see one season of Parenthood at her own pace and discovered her newly beloved series Friday Night Lights --- amazing work.  This last VCR, the one now by the door to go out, Cranky even went to ‘a most reputable store’ in Manhattan and bought a product with a ‘name’.  Oh, well, so much for that theory. 

Enjoy the season; there are so many holidays, so little time. As always, thanks for stopping by.  Be healthy and happy. 
Ms. CRANKY, Monday evening, December 2, 1013 --- rent due.



Wednesday, September 11, 2013



Ms. CRANKY knows she’s supposed to be cranky and complain and be wacky and off-balance, which she is sometimes good at doing but on the anniversary of September 11, 2001, it’s hard to be one’s old self.  So, forgive Ms. Cranky if she, with so many other Americans, remembers. 

The day was incredibly beautiful, ‘incredibly’ --- balmy, not too hot, not too cool, just wonderfully dry and lightly breezy.  The skies were bright blue with, as Ms. Cranky, remembers, not a cloud, or, if so but, a few wisps.  Cranky was, thankfully, working uptown for a few weeks.  Usually she worked downtown at the World Financial Center --- right across from the World Trade Center. 

Cranky had voted early before heading for work so she wouldn’t have to worry about getting to the polls on time after work.  It was a Mayoral election and people really came out.  When Cranky got to the subway station that day, the endless politicians with leaflets accosted her once again and she just laughed and said --- “No more, it’s over, my vote is in --- goodbye.”  Little did she know then that she’d have to vote all over again.

Since the horror that happened shortly after she arrived at her desk at her temp job uptown, Ms. Cranky gets a little superstitious when a day is so beautiful, she thinks a lot of people do --- like, we remember and think ----“ Don’t enjoy it too much, it could turn to great tragedy in seconds.”

But, Cranky thinks maybe she should try and get over that superstition.  Maybe it’s finally time, 12 years later to look at a beautiful day as a beautiful day --- a symbol of hope and newness instead of violence, death and tragedy.  Maybe she should think lovingly again of a balmy day, a pure blue sky, sun and lightness in the air as possibility, newness, life, oh, life --- the most fabulous of gifts.

Thanks for stopping by.  Take care of your good selves.  Ms. Cranky



September 10, 2013


Happy Birthday, Trevor.